The Richmond Bacon Festival scheduled for June 9 in the renovated 17th Street Farmers’ Market has been canceled.
“We wanted to honor the neighborhood’s request not to sell outside beer,” said John Sydnor, executive director of Enrichmond, the nonprofit that had been managing events at the 17th Street Farmers’ Market since 2016. “We’ve decided to postpone the Bacon Festival until next year.”
He said the Richmond Bacon Festival will be held in a new location in 2020 and that the nonprofit has already received three offers from locations interested in being the festival’s new home. Devil’s Backbone Brewing Co. will remain the sponsor for the event.
The city of Richmond announced earlier this month that the city will be taking back control of programming at the 17th Street Farmers’ Market from Enrichmond starting July 1.
The Richmond Bacon Festival was one of the most popular events hosted by Enrichmond at the Farmers’ Market. The event began in 2013 and drew up to 23,000 visitors at its height.
The past few years, the festival was held at a temporary location while the Farmers’ Market was under construction and drew roughly 8,000 visitors.
“We’re excited to bring the Bacon Festival back next year,” Sydnor said.
Enrichmond posted the following statement to its Facebook page:
“As the City of Richmond assumes programming responsibilities of the 17th Street Market on July 1, the Enrichmond Foundation is focusing our efforts on activating other public spaces around the Richmond region with our events. It is with difficulty that we announce that we will be cancelling this year’s Bacon Festival due to the need to efficiently and effectively changeover all programming to Parks and Rec.
“During this transition year, we are retooling Bacon Festival to reenergize and specialize its mission to support Richmond’s parks. We hope to see you this season as we continue to celebrate Richmond’s public resources with you!”
Shockoe Bottom restaurants had said in the past that festivals and outside beer sales detracted from their business.
Enrichmond will continue its work on the historic Evergreen and East End cemeteries and on TreeLab, a greenhouse project.
More information on Enrichmond can be found on the website: https://enrichmond.org.